By Michael Pedone –
“I’M GETTING A LOT OF PROSPECTS TELLING ME TO CALL THEM BACK AFTER THE HOLIDAYS. AM I GOING TO HAVE A GREAT FIRST QUARTER OR IS THIS A STALL TACTIC? AND IF IT’S A STALL, HOW SHOULD I HANDLE IT?”
Ok let’s look at this logically. There are three possible legitimate reasons for them to ask you to follow-up with them the first of the year. They are:
They really do need you to call them the first of the year.
They’d RATHER you call them the first of the year.
They have no intention of buying from you now or down the road, it’s just what they tell sales people to get rid of them.
Your job is to uncover which “reason” is truly causing the delay, and then solve it.
If you are making a “first time call” to a new lead and the prospect gives you the “call me after the holidays” line (and you are hearing this a lot) there’s a strong possibility that your OVS (Opening Value Statement) is to blame.
ARE YOU PIQUING INTEREST OR DATA DUMPING?
A strong OVS will pique interest and get the prospect WANTING to continue the call to learn more about what you can do for them.
A weak OVS has too many words yet doesn’t describe the WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM value statement. Fixing your opening value statement may go a long way to solving your problem.
Sticking with the “first time call” scenario, let’s say you rarely get the “call me back after the holidays” stall, but want to know how to handle it when it does come up.
Personally, I would simply say something along the lines of “I understand your time is valuable and I certainly wouldn’t be calling you if I didn’t think there was a strong chance we could help you _____ But I would need to ask you a few quick questions first just to be sure…”
If they push back again, timing may truly be the issue. So schedule them in your CRM to contact them the first of the year. In the mean time, send them a LinkedIn connection request, as well as see what “groups” they may be a part of in LinkedIn.
If there’s a group they are associated with that could use your company’s advice, join it and start participating. Not only will there be a chance your prospect gets to “know you” via your helpful advice in the LinkedIn group, but there may also be other prospects in that group that may reach out to you as well after reading your helpful guidance on issues they post. (If you don’t know what LinkedIn Groups are or how they work, I suggest you get on that ASAP)
But what if you are getting the “Call me back after the Holidays” stall with prospects you’ve already have spoken with / done a presentation with, etc?
Sometimes a simple question such as “What needs to happen between now and then?” can uncover if the prospect is giving a real reason for the delay or if it’s just a stall.
If it’s a stall, re-pressing the prospects original “hot buttons” on why they spoke with you the first time, may be in order – assuming you remembered to identify their hot buttons during the first call.